Linked like never before: environmental factors and business development

| Sep 17, 2020 | Environmental Law |

Remember the days when nightly new shows recurrently featured tales of companies across the country contaminating waterways with chemicals and polluting the air with smoke-filled discharges?

Such degrading environmental outcomes haven’t totally disappeared, of course. But hearing about such a thing these days strikes legions of people as more of an oddity than a common occurrence.

Here is why: Companies are quite literally cleaning up their act. It is true that select bad-faith actors might need a bit of cajoling to do so via fines and other sanctions. Reputable businesses that have always sought to conduct their operations within legal bounds have also upped their game, though, and voluntarily so.

That is for a very simple reason. Factoring in the environment when working on a proposed or ongoing commercial project is simply good business.

Moreover, it is highly endorsed across society and legally mandated by myriad local, state and federal regulations.

The truth is that the general public is attuned to environmental concerns as never before. So too are agencies and other bodies tasked with compliance and wielding punitive powers to punish transgressors.

The bottom line is that “green” is now the operative word in business development. Industry participants are focused as never before on balancing the dual goal of profitability and environment stewardship.

What actors are paying close attention to a green strategy?

The answer to the above-posed headline query can be quickly noted. Virtually every individual and entity remotely involved with business now pays close attention to how a company conducts itself from an environmental perspective. That includes these observers:

  • Consumers, who increasingly limit their involvement with companies to entities that act environmentally responsible
  • Real estate developers, who must design projects in accordance with new norms and expectations
  • Investors and entrepreneurs, who can no longer afford to align themselves with outdated and discredited development strategies
  • Governing bodies, which wield an arsenal of enforcement tools

Green project focus and linked considerations

Business development tied to environmental concerns has a decidedly modern and forward-looking feel. An increasing focus these days centers on matters like the following:

  • Renewable energy (e.g., solar, wind and biofuels)
  • Urban commercial projects with a natural look and feel
  • Residential projects designed to have a minimal environment impact
  • Recycling plants
  • Gardening, landscape and organic food enterprises

Regulatory authorities encourage such projects, often offering tax rebates and other incentives tied to their development.

Notably too, though, virtually every business endeavor that proceeds with environment concerns faces a plethora of rules and legal issues relevant to siting, financing, permitting, contracting, code compliance and additional matters.

The green revolution brings exciting prospects for business principals. At the same time, though, it spins a complex web of regulatory exactions that must be identified and precisely complied with.